Terrorist with $10m bounty handed key role in Taliban government as cabinet confirmed

Ex army chief warns jihadists 'inspired' after Taliban takeover

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Sirajuddin Haqqani has been appointed as the new interior minister after the terror group announced its provisional cabinet on Tuesday. Sirajuddin Haqqani is the son of the founder of the Haqqani network, classified as a terrorist group by the US State Department since 2012.

The organisation is linked to several attacks on US forces and has known ties to Al Qaeda.

Sirajuddin appears on the FBI’s most-wanted list with a reward of $10 million (£7.26 million) for his capture.

The Haqqani network is believed to have played a significant role to help Osama bin Laden go into hiding following the 9/11 terror attacks in New York and Washington.

According to the US State Department, some of the most notorious crimes linked to the Haqqani group include an attack on the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul in June 2011, which killed 11 civilians and two Afghan police officers.

In September 2011, 77 US personnel were wounded following a truck bombing in Wardak Province, Afghanistan.

In June 2012, a suicide bomb attack against Forward Operating Base Salerno, killed two US soldiers and wounded more than 100 others.

Sirajuddin Haqqani is one of 33 members of the cabinet – which does not include any women.

The administration will be led by interim prime minister Mullah Hasan Akhund.

He has close links to Mullah Omar, the founder of the Taliban and its first supreme leader.

Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, who had led talks with the US and signed the deal which led to withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, will be one of two deputies.

Some other members are reported to have been previously held at Guantanamo Bay for terror offences.

The interim prime minister said: “I assure all the countrymen that the figures will work hard towards upholding Islamic rules and sharia law in the country.”

Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, downplayed the exclusion of women from the government.

He said: “The cabinet is not complete, it is just acting. We will try to take people from other parts of the country.”

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The US State Department said it was “concerned by the affiliations and track records” of some of the senior leaders.

In a statement, the department added: “We will judge the Taliban by its actions, not words.

“We have made clear our expectation that the Afghan people deserve an inclusive government.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s official spokesman told reporters: “Absolutely we would want to see, in any situation, a diverse group of leadership which seeks to address the pledges that the Taliban themselves set out, and that’s not what we have seen, and we will continue to judge them on their actions.”
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